Here’s an American group that only had one big hit in the 90s, but it was very memorable. They Might Be Giants formed in the mid-80s (and took their name from a 70s film), and there have been lots of members come and go, but the main core consists of John Flansburgh and John Linnell. Some of their songs could definitely be described as “quirky”, with lots of amusing lyrics along with creative videos.
In March 1990 “Birdhouse In Your Soul” was released, and this reached no. 6 to become their only Top 10 hit in the UK (this was also their biggest hit in America). I suppose they are one of those groups where you either enjoy what they do, or you find them immensely irritating to the point that you want to commit random acts of violence, but I know what side I’m on. I’ve always been fond of this and it’s one of the hits of the year for me.
Not long after this, their third of 22 albums “Flood” made the Top 20 (their only album to be a hit in the UK). Probably expecting some further success, in June 1990 the follow-up single, a cover of “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” was released, but this reached only no. 61, and their next single missed the Top 75. There wasn’t much heard about them in this country after this.
But then, over a decade later, in July 2001, they almost did a “reverse dumper”, when they returned to the UK chart for the first time in 11 years with “Boss Of Me”, the theme to American sitcom Malcolm In The Middle that was increasing in popularity with viewers around this time after being shown on BBC2 and Sky One, which reached no. 21. It was good seeing them back on the scene, and this song also earned them a Grammy Award.
After this, They Might Be Giants have released many more albums, including some aimed at children (I fear that they may be responsible for that “don’t cross the street in the middle of the block” song that you’ve just got to get up and do a dance to apparently), that seem to have guest vocals by Mickey Mouse, along with all kinds of other bizarre ideas, and they have won a Grammy for these too.